MSc ambassador Hannah shares her experience of making the transition from a non-business undergraduate degree to one of our MSc degrees.
Hi everyone! I’m Hannah and I’m currently studying MSc Business with Accounting and Finance. I completed my undergraduate degree in Economics, Politics and International Studies here at Warwick too. In my experience, the transition from an undergraduate to postgraduate degree was not as different as you would think! If you are on top with your work, it really comes down to how you wish to tailor your experience and how you manage your time to allow you to make the most of what Warwick can offer.
Why did you decide to do a postgraduate degree?
I wanted to continue to expand upon my skill set and knowledge before entering the working world. During my undergraduate degree I gained strong numerical and analytical skills which gave me great leverage in my postgraduate course. Yet, I wanted to learn more about the practical business environment with a more hands-on focus on accounting and finance. The Business in Practice module at WBS stood out to me the most as it gave students the ability to apply what they have learnt all year in a real-life business scenario.
When looking for a postgraduate course, I knew what field I wanted to enter. So, I searched for courses that would allow me to develop skills that would boost my employability in regard to my chosen field. In hindsight, this postgraduate course has not only helped me develop specialist skills, but I have also broadened my knowledge on business concepts through the various core modules provided each term. On top of this, the selection of optional modules that you can choose from at WBS really impressed me. I was able to tailor my postgraduate experience to fit my interests and skills. I’ve been able to pick more quantitative modules this year which has greatly benefitted my learning. It’s provided a great balance between our practical and theoretical core modules and has allowed me to build upon technical skills that will be extremely helpful in my future career.
How is your study schedule different?
This year, I have had a greater amount of teaching hours due to the scheduling of the course. Per module, in a week, we have a series of asynchronous videos to watch prior to the lecture, we then have a live lecture and seminar. The frequency of lectures and seminars depends on the term and module chosen. In between, independent study is required to prepare for seminars and lectures. As such, time management is very important when establishing your study schedule during your postgraduate degree.
Compared to my undergraduate degree, there are more frequent exams. We have exams at the start of every term to assess the modules we studied in the previous term. We have class exams throughout the term too for certain modules. In addition, we also have coursework throughout the year, taking the form of group projects or individual reports. This requires lots of organisational and time management skills when planning team meetings regularly, meeting deadlines and balancing this with lectures and seminars. The focus on group work has been very beneficial in terms of gaining experience with working with different types of people but also just getting to know more people on my course has been great!
Although this all may sound daunting, creating a well-planned study timetable has been extremely useful. Once it becomes established as a routine, it’s completely manageable! The key is holding yourself accountable to self-set deadlines to ensure that you are on track with the teaching materials and module deadlines. All your course mates are in the same position so studying together helps too!
What advice would you give to students who are considering whether to do a postgraduate degree?
If you have a strong idea of where you want to progress in terms of your career, a postgraduate degree will certainly allow you to explore your area further whilst developing specialised skills that will cater directly towards your area of interest. I would suggest looking at the modules provided for your potential course, to ensure they meet your criteria of what you want to achieve out of your postgraduate course. It’s important you have the motivation to be proactive in your studies and assessments to make the most of what is taught; a lot of this comes from having a future vision in mind!
In terms of the environment in Warwick, there are so many societies that will allow you to enhance your university life. From academic societies to sports societies, there will be a society that fits your interests and will allow you to build strong connections. It’s important to have an avenue to relax outside of teaching and studying. For me, going to the sports centre and being part of a sports society has been one of the highlights of my year. There’s lots to do at the university to enhance your experience beyond studying. WBS runs trips around the country, social events and various other networking events to meet and engage with a range of people. A postgraduate degree is more than studying, it’s worthwhile utilising networking opportunities, career services and various societies to help you progress in your skillsets for your future career and to maximixe your university experience!
Find out more about the student experience at Warwick Business School by reading our Postgraduate blog.